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Cathedral Lady Wave squeak by Salem

Salem High School’s Markeria Butler fouls Cathedral’s McKenzie Milligan as she goes up for two points in the Lady Green Wave’s 42-39 home win. The win was Cathedral’s 10th of the season. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

Salem High School’s Markeria Butler fouls Cathedral’s McKenzie Milligan as she goes up for two points in the Lady Green Wave’s 42-39 home win. The win was Cathedral’s 10th of the season. (Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Trailing by seven at halftime, the Cathedral Lady Wave didn’t hit the panic button against Salem High School. Instead the Lady Wave turned their defense up a notch, held Salem to just 14 second half points and rallied to a 42-39 win.

“That was fun,” Cathedral head coach Randy Smith said. “Defense won us that game. When we finally switched to our man-to-man press and double teamed them, that was the big key in the game.”

The Lady Wave were just a step behind the Lady Wildcats early in the contest, just not being able to get over the hump or stop Salem’s Makeria Butler, who scored 13 first half points and finished the contest with 21.

But Cathedral’s scrappiness in the second half propelled them, and earned them their 10th win of the season.

“It is a credit to all the girls that played,” Smith said. “Whether they played one minute, two minutes or five minutes. They stuck together. Everybody came in and did their job. It is good to have a team with a lot of players that can play.”

McKenzie Milligan led the Lady Wave with 11 points and Mackenzie Watts and Elizabeth Smith were close behind with 10 each.

Cathedral grabbed the lead midway through the fourth quarter at 38-37, and it was clutch free throw shooting from Smith and Watts down the stretch that secured the win.

“I liked our shooters,” Smith said. “Those are probably our two best shooters on the line, Elizabeth (Smith) and Mackenzie Watts.”

The future looks bright to Smith and his team, as they look to lock up a high spot in their district. But standing in their way are some tough matchups left on the schedule.

“We are on the right track,” Smith said. “I really like our group right now, and hopefully, we can finish out this week. We have a big game (today) against Piney Woods, and then another big game against Bogue Chitto on Friday night. Then next week, we have St. Al. So if we can win out, we could get second or third in the district, so that is why we are working hard.”